We’re halfway there! Let me update you…

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Did you miss me? It’s been a little strange not reporting every week on what’s going on behind the scenes. But we’re at the halfway point and launch is just a few weeks away. I have this wonderful combination of excitement, anxiety and joy that I experience when I think about launch day. We’ve all invested so much in Carina, it’s definitely a business to love given the mix of behind-the-scenes, amazing staff and the raw talent of the authors. I suppose it’s a little like introducing your family to your new significant other. You want them to love them, admire them and appreciate their great points as much as you do.

This past week, I started to get caught up on submissions but got sidelined by a trip to Toronto that I just returned from last night. I won’t be heading back to Toronto again until September, as summer conferences (and hopefully a summer vacation!) will be taking up my travel time. Plus, it’s the summer, I plan to be on the beach as much as possible, watching my family try to kill themselves on boogie boards while I read as many books as I possibly can.

Things have been pretty crazy in Carina-land. Even though all of you are still looking to launch and (hopefully) anticipating launch books, we’re now looking at August and forward production schedules. We’re talking marketing going forward, we’re discussing where the readers are and how we can continue to reach out to them. Working towards launch was the easy part (insert hysterical laughter here) now we have to grow, build and expand! In fact, in the interest of expanding, I’ve once again been speaking with a few new potential editors!

The rest of this week, I’m dedicating to (finally) getting caught up on submissions (and other email) I will tell you this, though…we have now met the 1000 submissions received and read mark! I think that’s pretty amazing for a new imprint that hasn’t published any books yet and that only opened its doors in November, don’t you? This has allowed us to start setting our production schedules for this fall with an amazing variety of romance, mystery, fantasy and other fiction. I personally have been reading a LOT of novella submissions because I find them easy to get through, and I’ve contracted four just in the past two weeks from all of my reading. So if you have a novella, any fiction genre (except YA) I hope you’ll consider sending it my way. We’re also seeking erotic romance of any length for publication in Fall 2010. Something spicy, whether it’s m/f, m/m, m/m/f or any combination thereof. Any kink, and yes, BDSM is welcome. There’s something spectacular about well-written BDSM!

We have a few more posts coming today, including one from Eleanor Elliot about our “new” website and one where I tell you about our Romantic Times 2010 experience and share some video. But before I go, I want to take a quick minute to point out a few new features here on the blog. Some of you asked for the ability to search just the blog, and that feature has been added, as has subscribe to comments and the ability to repost the blog to various social medias. If there’s any other features you think are still missing, give a yell.

As a quick update about upcoming appearances, I’ll be at the Lori Foster Get Together in Cincinnati in June, where I’ll be speaking about Carina and digital publishing. If you’ll be there, please come and say hello. And also in June I’ll be in Birmingham, Alabama speaking to the local RWA chapter and answering all of their questions about being an author and publishing in the digital age. If you live nearby, please think about driving up and joining us for the day.

In the meantime, it’s been awhile, so let’s chat. You’ve heard from half of the launch authors so far, what books are on your Carina Press wishlist for this June?


Marie Force Interviews Editor Jessica Schulte

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I first “met” my new Carina editor, Jessica Schulte, in February when she emailed to request some revisions to my book Fatal Affair. Since the book was acquired later in February, we’ve worked together on revisions and line edits and had a good time getting to know each other. She is a treat to work with and has a great sense of humor. Well, after you read our interview, you won’t need me to tell you that!

Marie: Tell me about your career in publishing and how you came to be involved with Carina Press.

Jessica: I came to publishing after getting my master’s degree in dramatic criticism from Columbia University. I love how theatre tells stories so directly–it’s a connection, I think to oral story telling. It just resonates on a very primal level. What I loved about studying dramatic literature and writing about productions, was that it allowed me to really investigate the craft and understand why and how plays worked (or didn’t!) LOL! Of course, with plays there are other elements that affect the overall outcome and effect, i.e. lighting, sets, costumes, direction and acting. There are so many variables in theatre; it’s very exciting and it’s why one production is never like another.

But with books it’s just the author and the reader. It’s very intimate and immediate storytelling, a partnership almost. And the

Marie:
I know you’re somewhat new to the romance genre, so what is the most interesting thing you’ve learned about romance since joining Carina?

Jessica: Oh, boy. I think a good editor, (and a good writer) is always learning—but I just love the story telling in romance novels. I love the twists and turns, and uh, well, the romance. I’m also thrilled by how eagerly romance readers have adopted the digital medium. I am really enjoying exploring websites and forums where readers and writers passionately hold forth. I adore smartbitches.com (and their book, Beyond Heaving Bosoms), as someone new to the genre they let me know that a wicked sense of humor was a good thing to bring to the genre.

Marie: We’ve had some fun while editing my book, Fatal Affair. You confessed to me that you might be slightly (okay totally, but this is a family show) in love with my hero Nick… What do you love about Nick and what makes you fall in love with a hero?

Jessica: Ohhhh! I really do love Nick.He has real heart.He’s devastated by what’s happened but he’s still so open to the possibilities around him. And he’s not afraid to make a fool of himself or to apologize. And he’s a terrific lover. He’s so much like my husband, that I just can’t resist him. (Hi, honey!!)

I think I fall in love a little bit with all the characters in books that I edit. Even the bad guys. When a book works you just fall in to that world and you love being there with everyone.

Marie: I’m SO glad you love Nick, and I adore your reasons! Hopefully, readers will fall in love with him, too! Next questions: What’s your favorite book? Movie? TV show? And, since you live in New York City, Broadway show?

Jessica: This is one of my worst subjects. Ever. I I can’t pick a favorite color, either. Oh, sheesh. I just can’t pick. I can’t. Please don’t make me. I have a special place for YA and middle grade novels and am loving Rhonda Stapleton’s Stupid Cupid right now. It’s so fun!!  But I also love Kathi Appelt’s The Underneath, and Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games series. They are fun, too, but in a completely different way. I have a real weakness for Rogers and Hammerstein, Rodgers and Hart, Lerner and Lowe, and Sondheim musicals. It is a great sorrow to me that I can’t sing. And since I worked on The Secret Garden, that show has a very special place in my heart.

As for TV, full disclosure: I still miss The Gilmore Girls and am THRILLED that Lauren Graham is back on weekly TV. There, I’ve said it.

Marie: I’ve discovered there’s a 14-year-old girl lurking inside you! How do you like to spend your free time?

Jessica: Oh, there’s definitely a 14-year old girl lurking not that secretly inside me. When I was a kid, I really wanted to be  Dr. Dolittle, and so I spent my time surrounded by as many animals as my parents would allow. And now that I’m supposed to be a grown up and live in an apartment, I can’t have as many animals as I wish, but I am also a dog trainer so I get to work with dogs and their people and compete with my dog in agility, competition obedience, and Rally-O. We’re also learning Freestyle. If you’re interested in what that is, check out http://tinyurl.com/3danad I promise, you won’t be sorry.

And yes, musical theatre alert!I also knit and make jewelry when I am just hanging out watching TV.

Marie: What makes a submission stand out to you?

Jessica: I am looking for stories that suck me in and don’t let me go. I love when the heroine is struggling with issues and the answers come after some real deep soul-searching. And I love to laugh. So if those things are combined I am in heaven. I love historical romances when I am taken to new worlds (even if it’s a familiar period) and learn new things. And I love stories where characters have a bond with pets, especially dogs.

Thanks to Jessica for answering my questions! It was fun to get to know her better!

You can follow Jessica on Twitter

Angela’s note: Feel free to ask Jessica questions in the comments and we’ll get her to come by and answer them!

Week 19…production schedules are scary

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You almost got quite a unique post yesterday. See, the link to this blog’s admin page is right next to the link for a cooking/craft blog I post on during the week. On Sundays, I post a weekly menu post and somehow, I wrote that post on THIS blog. The only thing that stopped me from publishing it was that I went looking for the picture that goes with that post every week and instead I found…cover art. Ha! But I’ll bet some of you would have been okay with a weekly menu post!

Anyway, last week was one of those weeks where you just know you’re not going to get everything done (okay, okay, all my weeks are like that right now, can you relate?) but I focused on two things that were of immediate importance: our production schedule and submissions.

First, the production schedule. See, we do have a plan for launch. Even though we’re not sharing a lot of public details about it yet, or giving a specific June date for launch, we do have a plan. But before we commit publically to our plan, we have to know that we’re going to be able to deliver. And that means weekly meetings about the production schedule. And in the case of last week? Two meetings. Can we meet editorial and production deadlines? Can we get the material we need, get the books finalized, get our eyes on them and get them to be formatted by the deadline? These are the questions that came down to the wire last week, and I spent a lot of time emailing with the editors, getting answers on projected dates and return times and figuring out: can it be done because this is it.

The ultimate answer is: holy cow are the freelance editors we’re using amazing! Seriously, utterly amazing. They’re busting it double time to get things done so we can meet all deadlines and follow through on our grand plan. And not a few of the copy editors have also said, “yes, I can get this done sooner”. They all rock, I’m lucky to have gathered such a great group of professionals. So yep, much to my relief (no really, you don’t know how relieved) it looks like we’re going to do it. In a few weeks, we’ll be ready to announce more specific details of launch and gear up for June. Whee!

Second, submissions. I want to start out submissions by mentioning that I hired another editor last week because we have such amazing submissions rolling in, I needed another person to help us start going through them and taking on the task of guiding them through edits. I’m happy to welcome Charlotte Herscher, who has extensive editing background in traditional pub settings. You’ll get to learn more about Charlotte, and the other editors, in the coming weeks as we start editor interviews!

Anyway, submissions got a massive update Thursday and Friday, and if you missed it, here’s the post with that update. I’d love to do a more detailed post about genres we’re seeing (and the most common words used in titles, just for giggles) but that’s going to have to wait a bit. I will say that we’re seeing a good bit of historical coming through, which I think is probably thanks to the targeting we did for them. Now it’s time to to start talking about the next genre we want to focus on!

Also last week, we sent out prelim cover copy to authors and editors, and got their feedback. After it has a visit with the copy editor, we’ll be able to share that with you. Anyone interested in seeing a few more covers? I have some I could share this week.

Stay tuned tomorrow: two authors need your help. Two authors, one hero. What should his name be? You help settle the feud!

Thinking about query letters. Part I: Query don’ts.

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Last week I got a query letter that had me so taken aback, I Twittered about how I wished I could share it. Not to humiliate or ridicule the author in any way, but because I would love to talk about all the reasons it was full of query don’ts, and offer you concrete, real-time examples. In mulling this over, I’ve decided to do a list of query letter don’ts and a list of query letter do’s (list of query do’s to come tomorrow). Since it’s unlikely I can offer a snippet from an actual letter, without making someone feel as though they’ve been made a target, I’ll use paraphrased examples when necessary.

Don’t:

1. Start with a rhetorical question

I see a lot of editors and agents mention this. The reasons are varied, but ultimately it comes down to this: What if the editor or agent’s answer to the question is NO? Is No what you really want them to have in mind when they begin your query?

Example (not real but similar to some I’ve had): Have you ever wondered why time doesn’t run backward? Not only is the answer no, but now I’m wondering why I’d wonder this, and I’m not thinking about the query or concentrating on the details, but I might now be wondering why I’d care why time doesn’t run backward. And perhaps thinking how this sounds like something my five year old would ask. But I’m not thinking about the query.

2. Tell the editor/agent how you know there are submission guidelines but you’re not going to follow them.

Example (paraphrased): I know there are submissions guidelines but I didn’t follow them this time because I’m different.

What do I hear? “I’m more important than you, I’m going to disregard what you suggest when we work together, and clearly I know better than you.” Not only that, but I hear how little respect the author has for me and that it doesn’t matter to them that there are very good reasons I have guidelines. Also? I’m probably hearing the blood rushing in my ears as I get just a little angry.

3. Send a blanket email to every publisher/editor/agent all at once.

You know, as in don’t just throw it out there at everyone and see what sticks. Doing this makes it impossible to personalize the query and tailor it to the person/company you’re sending to, and thus makes your query one of the crowd rather than standing out.

But even worse? When you send it to 50 of us at once and do it in a way that it’s not bcc–we can see every one of the other 49 email addresses you’ve sent it to. It shows, again, a lack of effort and interest in the process.

4. Include details of your family life/personal life/how you’ve wanted to write since you were five.

Tell us only the things that are going to sell your book. Think of us as the first readers you’re trying to sell to. If you were trying to convince a reader to buy your book, would you include a story about how you own five dogs, two cats, a goldfish named Sally? Possibly if your book is a mystery about a petstore owner, but even then…probably not. Because it’s not important information in the marketing of your book to readers, and it’s not important in the querying of your manuscript to editors and agents. It just makes your query letter longer, takes the focus off your book and allows us the opportunity to let our attention wander from your query.

5. Send a query letter that says only: manuscript and synopsis attached.

Not even bothering with a query letter means 1) that I’m going to suspect you’re too lazy to go to the effort of writing even a short query letter and therefore will probably only do the minimum amount of work in response to edits or to market your book and I don’t want to work with an author who’s going to do minimal or no work. 2) That I have to do more work and spend more time figuring out the basics of your query and so you don’t respect that my time is limited and of value. 3) That you really don’t care whether I take a look at your book or not, if you’re not even going to take some basic steps to convince me I should.

Plus? Some editors/agents don’t open attachments. Oops!

6. Address it to “whom it may concern”

On our FAQ page, I give a few suggestions for who you can address the letter to, since authors have no idea which of the editors will be seeing their manuscript. I do this because I know many authors stress over how to address the letter, and while I do like a personalized letter and you should use one as often as possible when sending to specific individuals (for instance, people who read our blog have been addressing their queries to specific editors who said they were looking for a certain genre), there are times when a specific address isn’t possible. However “to whom it may concern” is not even making an effort to personalize it. It’s more of a copy and paste effect. Possibly “Hey you” is the only thing worse. Dear editors or something similar at least lets us know you’re not sending the exact same query letter to every agent, publisher and editor out there. Again, it’s about the effort, however subtle, that we see being put into the query.

7. Send a letter with another publisher’s (editor’s/agent’s) info in the body of the query letter.

Oof. Look, we don’t expect that we’re the sole person or publisher you want to work with, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make us feel as though you’re really interested in working with us and not just whatever editor, agent or publisher you can get to take you or your book.

8. Say that you were recommended by one of our authors, fellow editors or agents without their permission.

No no no no. Don’t be name dropping or saying someone suggested you to us unless you’ve asked permission and are fully prepared for us to follow up and ask that person about you. Just don’t.

9. Query for a genre the person you’re querying doesn’t publish.

Because that’s just silly. Why waste your time? (or theirs?)

10. Forget to include the pertinent information.

I’m always amazed at how verbose query letters can be without imparting information that’s relevant and necessary: title, genre, length, completed or not and a short (short) description of the book. Also, if you have a special affinity for the subject (for example, if you’re an ex-FBI agent and you’re writing a romantic suspense) then that might be considered pertinent info as well. These are the things we want and need to know about the book, not whether your critique partners really loved it!

Also, don’t forget to include your contact information. Real name, address, and phone number so we can contact you, if, you know, we want to publish your book. And include this information on your synopsis and manuscript as well.

11. Address your query to dear agent if it’s going to an editor (and vice versa).

(and don’t tell a publisher/editor that you’re hoping they’ll agree to represent them because we won’t).

12. Don’t send any query, ever, without looking at the submissions/query guidelines for the person or place you’re sending it.

Most of what I said above can be encapsulated down to this: friends don’t let friends send queries without reading the guidelines first!

But since you’re all reading this, I’ll be you already knew this stuff already.

Reasons for rejection

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Yesterday I blogged about why we are unable to do personalized rejections, so I thought it would be helpful to follow up with ten main reasons that manuscripts are rejected. What I’ve done is sorted through the reports editors have sent me over the past few months and grabbed clips from them to highlight various reasons manuscripts are rejected. The names of the editors are withheld to protect the (mostly) innocent. What I’m showing here is the ten themes repeated over and over in the rejection reports I received and I selected only a sampling of quotes to share, to give you insight into the editors’ thought process. Also, I think it should be noted that often rejection is for a combination of these reasons, and indeed, some of these clips came from the same report. The exception to that is probably number four, as unsophisticated writing is often a standalone reason for rejection.

1.    The manuscript doesn’t catch the reader’s attention from the start.

“I kept turning pages wondering when the author would stop telling me things and let the action actually start.”

“…major info dumps in the first few chapters that slowed the pacing to a crawl.”

“…There is way too much irrelevant backstory at the beginning that slows down the pacing and does not directly affect the immediate plot.”

“…I’m also not sure where the story is going—it seems like it wanders leisurely through the narrative, rather than having a focused plot.”

“Nothing happens in the prologue or chapter one except the heroine thinking and establishing the backstory…”

2.    The story doesn’t stand out as fresh or unique.

“No matter how good a story, starting with a [common urban fantasy theme] starts you at the disadvantage of being utterly derivative.  In an overcrowded genre, there needs to be something really unique to the writing or world-building to make that scenario stand out, and nothing here does.”


3.    The author has included too many unimportant details and not enough important details

“…the narrative was too focused on the superficial chicklit aspects (her hair, her clothes, her dating) at the expense of pacing and plotting.”

“The story gets bogged down by backstory, dream sequences, repetition…”

4.    The writing just isn’t there (I could have divided this up, as it’s so broad)

“This is the author’s first novel and it shows, with many new-writer problems: too much narrative, thought & flashbacks vs. present action, POV problems, cliché situations and characters, and odd switches between past/present tenses.”

“…the writing was clumsy—especially in the overuse of adjectives.”

“…had a bunch of awkward dialogue and lacked characterization. The author has a problem with telling instead of showing.”

“…This manuscript has very confusing changes in POV, character identity, time and place; and I could barely follow it even with the synopsis.”

“…her writing is very tell-ish with constant play by play by play and jarring word choices.  Also, the hero and heroine’s internal thoughts are cheesy and unrealistic.”

“…the descriptions and dialogue are full of clichés.”

“The writing here is capable but not engaging. It can also be a bit repetitive…”

“…it’s riddled with grammatical errors, misspellings, and choppy scenes…”

“The writing lacks energy and doesn’t flow smoothly, with overlong sentences interrupted with many appositives…”

“The writing lacks subtlety and there’s too much telling, a lot of redundancies/repetition, with the first-person narrator thinking something before expressing the same thing in dialogue…”

“…some of the language took me right out of the moment and made me laugh…”

“It’s riddled with clichés and repetition, including portions where the same actions are repeated from different characters’ POV with no added depth or insight into their importance. In fact, it could probably be cut in half with the elimination of all the repetition and not lose anything in the way of story.”

“…tendency toward overnaming, wherein several characters who we meet once are named, but the numerous names aren’t unique enough to prevent confusion when some other new, insignificant character appears later. Not every character needs a name, and to have so many takes up space in my brain that should be left for the story’s main conflict.”

5.    The voice of the manuscript/characters doesn’t work

“The first person voice in this manuscript feels off—too young and casual—and not particularly likable.”

“My biggest problem with this contemporary romance is that it is meant to by funny, but the humor feels forced. The voice just didn’t win me over…”

“…problematic because the heroine is carrying the story, and I just don’t like her voice. She comes across as snotty and shallow instead of strong, and she assumes a level of friendship with me as the reader that I can’t reciprocate”

6.    The reader can’t connect to the characters, they’re not fully realized or believable

“The characters do not inspire caring; they’re rather like cardboard cutouts doing what the plot says to do.”

“I never warmed up to the heroine as a reader (she’s so shrill!).”

“…the flat characterization is the real deal breaker.”

“…the characters almost come off as two-dimensional. And the character development lacks skillful handling…”

“…despite the wittiness, the heroine was unlikable, and she never really grew or learned anything.”

“The characterizations devolve into caricatures: the gay friend, boss’s evil wife and even more evil mother.”

“…secondary characters feel like they act almost cartoonish at times…”

“The lack of emotional engagement in the story, either with page-turning action or relating closely to the characters, makes it hard for me to feel passionately about a ms.”

7.    The story requires too much suspension of disbelief

“…the historical accuracy of some major plot points made me question how likely they were to happen…”

“This one was tough for me, and the reason for the rejection comes down to my inability to suspend disbelief to believe in the premise that joins hero/heroine and provides the driving conflict for the story.”

“In addition to these plot issues, the hero often speaks in romance novel narrative e.g. ‘I’ve been wanting to bury myself in your heat since I met you.’ And he thinks gooey thoughts too soon, too often and too gooey”


8.    The manuscript starts well but doesn’t follow through

“…one of those books that begins with a really intriguing premise…”

“The set up promised…but, in the end, failed to deliver.”

“The ending lacks oomph.”

“So the whole motivation/stakes that initially propelled the story collapses…”

9.    Unnecessary subplots

“The subplot…didn’t really add much to the story. They didn’t make me care any more about the heroine and actually made me like her less. I was left wondering what their purpose in the story was supposed to be, since her actions surrounding them actually weakened her characterization”

“…this is a plot element in the story I feel is completely unnecessary.”

10.    The conflict wasn’t sustainable

“I like this author’s voice very much, it’s fresh and has good energy and is written cleanly. I like the h/h and their backstories and I love the snappy dialogue and vivid descriptions. But…the story itself didn’t sustain my interest.”

“There’s no hook, no compelling conflict or plot or page-turning tension…”

“The story bogs down, with scenes that feel too similar to what came before. It lacks set-backs and the sense of escalating conflict.”

“The ending also lacks the emotional punch I’m looking for…”

“While I like the story, I don’t love it, it didn’t build to a big enough climax, and it didn’t wow me.”

“In terms of the internal conflict and characterizations, it’s all out there at the outset, there is nothing much else that the reader discovers about them as events unfold…”

“H/h meet…fall into insta lust… It has no compelling conflict…”

“…conflict don’t grab me, and the story doesn’t feel suspenseful…”

Next week, I’ll follow up with clips from acquisition recommendation reports. What worked for the editors? I’ll give you an idea next week!

Week 13…editors and submissions

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I made some inroads into working through the copy editor tests and developmental editor emails. I’ll be sending out some emails today, but I’m still working on copy editors. Copy editors are actually much more difficult to hire than developmental editors, for some reason. Part of it is that, over the years, I’ve found that some people think they have the chops for copy editing, because they pick out typos or missing punctuation in the books they read, but the truth is that copy editing is an incredibly multi-layered position and to be a copy editor, you have to be highly skilled, very detail-oriented, know the ins and outs of the Chicago Manual of Style and grammar rules quite well, and be able to remember details, timelines and other things in order to compare and spot inconsistencies. In short, it takes amazing focus and not many of us have that.

I know some of you have been waiting for a submissions update. There are still November books under consideration. This could generally be considered a good thing, because taking longer means they’re getting a closer look. Any reprints submitted are still under consideration while we worked out our plan for them. We’ve got that in place and editors are looking through them as we speak. Because of the number of editors we have, at any given time, anywhere from 70 to 130 submissons are being actively reviewed. Now that we’re up and running, response times will be well within the 8 to 12 weeks for anyone submitting. I’ll do a more thorough submissions update this week, but we’re moving very quickly through submissions and now is a good time to get your submission in, as we’re still looking to acquire for Summer 2010 release. We’re especially targeting erotic romance, contemporary and paranormal romance, m/m romance, fantasy, science fiction and historical. But we’ve acquired across the board in all fiction genres, so if you have a good story, get it polished and send it in!

Something new we’ve started and just announced the first date for to our authors: we’ll be doing live meeting chats (using phone and computer) with our authors on a regular basis. These are going to include chats about general items, what’s happening at Carina, marketing tips and training, and more.

On that note, you know what I’ll be working on this week (submissions! copy editors!) and I’ll do a submission update later this week. In the meantime, I’ll be doing all that huddled here inside and trying to avoid looking out my window. Here in my part of Maryland, we got about 16 inches of snow. In addition to the ten we already had. More than we normally get in 3 or 4 years of winter. I’m going to sit inside and pretend it’s summer. Who’s with me?

Freelance developmental editors wanted

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I know many of you are wondering the status of your copy editor applications. Not to worry, the fact that you haven’t heard isn’t a reason for panic, but only means I’ve had to triage my to-do list and that has fallen to the bottom. However, now that my travel is done until late February and I have no more presentations (or workshops) to plan for, I’m going to be addressing all copy editor tests and applications in the next two weeks. Thank you for your patience.

In the meantime, I’m also going to be hiring two more freelance content/developmental editors. Before you get excited, please read this carefully: I am only hiring experienced editors–editors experienced in editing fiction books, in the genres I’m going to specify. Please do not apply if you don’t have experience, as I will be forced to delete your email, without response, given the time constraints on my schedule. I’m very sorry to have to limit this, as I think there are potential candidates out there who may not have experience, but may have the necessary skills. Unfortunately, I simply don’t have time to devote to training unexperienced editors at this stage.

The position is paid on a scaled flat fee based on various freelance tasks the editor will perform for Carina Press, from reading submissions, line editing, developmental edits and revision letters. The work is strictly freelance, invoicing is done every two weeks, and your work schedule will be up to you to determine, with the only requirement being that given deadlines are strictly met.

I am currently looking for two editors who are interested in editing the following genres: I need one editor interested in romance–specifically erotic romance, but other genres of romance as well. Of course, it’s fine if you wish to edit other genres in addition to romance/erotic romance, but I specifically need editors who enjoy erotic romance and are experienced with it. I also need an editor with interest in and experience with science fiction, fantasy and any associated subgenres. Again, it’s a bonus if you’re open to other genres as well, so don’t feel you’d be limited to those genres.

To apply, send an email of interest addressed to me at generalinquiries@carinapress.com In your email, please detail your experience including what publishers or authors you’ve worked with, how you conduct the developmental and line edit process, and if you’re comfortable with editing digitally. In addition, please list the genres you’re interested in editing, and how you view the editor/author relationship. Only applicants sending emails containing all of the requested information will be considered.

Permission to forward this post is granted. Questions will be answered in the comments, if necessary.

Join me for a self-editing workshop starting Monday

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I am teaming up with the ESPAN (Electronic and Small Press Authors’ Network) special-interest chapter of RWA to bring you a multi-day workshop on self-editing your work. You can visit their site to register. The below information is lifted directly from their site.

January 18, 2010 Self Editing Workshop by Angela James

Join Angela James as she shares some of the common pitfalls she’s seen in submissions and contest entries. She’ll give you ideas, tips and tricks for polishing and self-editing your manuscript. Discuss things such as dialogue tags, whether all forms of “to be” really are evil and just what you’re doing to your life expectancy with your use of that exclamation point. Through it all, she’ll be available for clarification and questions in order to help you on your way to a cleaned-up manuscript.

This course will run over several days on the forum, so you can pop in and out as needed to ask Angela questions or see the new information she’s posted. So, you don’t need to be available at any certain time of day, but you do need to sign up for the course to attend.

The course will be $5 for ESPAN RWA members, $10 for non-ESPAN RWA Members and $15 for non-RWA

Week Nine…That grinding noise is my brain

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Har har. I’ve had this window open on my computer since roughly 9:30am this morning. I got as far as “Week Nine” and I hit some major brain sludge trying to get going this morning. I have a rather serious looking to-do list this week that has things on it that can’t be put off. Things like getting the style guide to editors, going through tests and hiring copy editors (I hired one last week, though!), putting together my self-editing workshop (it’s an online workshop, you can still sign up!), writing a call for submissions,  updating submissions/sending rejection letters and setting up tomorrow’s blog post, which will be something new. These are all things that need to be done and can’t wait. And I really felt as though I just couldn’t get going today. I answered a lot of email, made some travel arrangements, answered a lot more email and had to remind myself frequently why I was looking at my calendar, a particular website or why I had started to search through sent mails. Yep, it was one of THOSE days.

Last week I spent what felt like a lot of time on the phone. Thursday, I had three scheduled calls, and from 2p-5pm was spent on the phone on two of those calls. The good news is that I’m that much closer to learning the computer system we use to input manuscripts and get contracts initiated thanks to one of those calsl. Oh dang, that’s another thing I have to do this week that I left off my list. Inputting manuscripts! (Imagine me groaning here. How did I forget that?) It’s also the system that’s used to track submissions. We also use an excel spreadsheet that I color code, write notes on and rearrange at will, but all submissions will also now be in the Harlequin system for very easy tracking. It’s quite an impressive (and complex) system, though!

These upcoming next three weeks are going to be crazy, because of my massive to-do list this week, my trip to Toronto next week (which, I just remembered, is another thing added to this week’s to-do list because I have to prepare for a presentation there. I need to write this stuff down…) followed immediately by Lasik surgery on the 21st! and then a trip to NYC and Digital Book World the Monday after that, where I’ll be on a panel. I’ll be in NYC for four days, but I haven’t even had time to think about my schedule and arranging meet-ups with people.

Speaking of travel, I’ve been putting together my conference/travel schedule for 2010 so if you’re interested in having Carina Press (in the form of me) at your conference, or want someone to travel to give a weekend workshop at your chapter, now’s a great time to email me! I’m really excited about the conferences on our list, and what I’ve been invited to so far. I’d love to add your chapter/conference to my list!

Hmm. Other than that, we’ve got a lot of content planned for the blog for the upcoming weeks. Next week, we’re going to give sneak peeks into some cover art. Still this week, we have a poll where you’ll help us decide a book title, some more posts from the acquisitions team, and I’ll introduce you to some more new Carina Press authors and their books!

Week Eight…2009 Drew to a Close

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Late, this post is late, so late! Today has been a Monday, on so many levels and a few times I’ve been tempted to just shut down the computer and try again tomorrow. I hope no one else had a day like that! But I don’t get paid to give up, so here I am, still chugging along. I have one more item on my to-do list for the day before I actually shut down. Payables for 2009 are being closed down, so all invoices have to be turned in, from freelance editing to expense reports, so I spent some time today devoted to that. I spent all day on email. There seems to be a never-ending supply of that!

Last week seemed like such a short week, but really it was only shortened by one day! You’ve all seen the post on the missing emails now, so I’ll tell you that I spent a portion of several days last week working with the Help Desk to try and locate them. They were fairly convinced that I’d accidentally deleted or misfiled them, so they remotely took control of my computer and went through my email to see if they could find them. It’s weird to have someone else working on your computer remotely. Very odd. Unfortunately, they didn’t find them. Honestly, I’d have been happy to take 100% responsibility for whatever happened to them if only we could find them. I still have my fingers crossed that they’ll magically appear, but that’s looking less likely as the days pass and we don’t recover them.

On a more positive note, the copy editor applicants (and tests) are rolling in, we’re moving quickly through submissions now, and we targeted five more books for acquisition last week in a variety of genres. I think that will be the Carina Press word of the moment: acquisition. It’s all about acquisition right now! Something did come up that made me think it might be interesting for us to do a post on the cost of submissions. I have the blog content planned for the next week, but I’ll try and get that post up in the next few weeks. Someone remind me if I forget!

Coming up this week, I’ll be posting the final acquisition from Christmas week, and also a few more posts introducing the Carina Press team members. Slowly but surely they’re getting those posts in. I may have to nag a few of them, though. On my own to-do list is a lot of correspondence with the editors, setting up our editorial steps and style because these books are ready to be edited! So I’ll be working on mostly editorial this week, because I’ll also be going over the copy editor applications, and sending more tests out. Oh, and I have lots of phone calls scheduled with incoming Carina authors. Wheee! It’s going to be a busy (but productive) week.